Sunday, January 11, 2009


There are a lot of things I could write about tonight, like the funny stuff J found in his memory box of baby and kid stuff while he was cleaning it out today (we were in the attic putting away Christmas), or the fact that Evie found her feet today and promptly put her socked foot into her mouth, or that we set up an old-fashioned Johnny Jump Up and shot video of her in it, or that she has her first diaper rash and is sleeping in a disposable diaper tonight so that I could slather her bum in diaper-cream-that-works-and-isn't-safe-for-cloth-diapers. (By the way my wrist is much better!) *AM update: Evie's rash is gone; Des*itin rocks.*

But instead I wanted to acknowledge that today is a poignant anniversary; it has been four years since J's Grandma Evie passed away. So here are some photos and anecdotes; the things I'll be sharing with Evie in a few years.

This is Grandma Evie at Christmas, 2002, with Apollo. It is one of our favorite pictures of her because she loved to sit and pat Apollo, and he adored her:

(I can't help a parenthetical invitation to compare the handsome young beagle with the current heartbreaking to see how much more gray he's gotten:


Here is a family photo from that same Christmas. Evie's Grandpa and Grandma, Grandma Evie, me, J and Evie's Uncle M. No, J isn't upset, he just doesn't like to smile for pictures. It's strange because he's a happy person otherwise. Oh well:

Skipping forward to June of 2003, this photo is of Evie's Aunt C, Grandma Evie, Evie's Grandma L and me:

It was taken after Grandma Evie's 90th birthday party at the Turtledove Tea Room in Albert Lea, Minnesota. It's the same location where I had my bridesmaid's luncheon before I married J on July 18, 1998. Sadly, the Turtledove doesn't exist anymore, I think...? This was way before C was part of the family and was actually the first time C and I met. Cute skirt! :) I have a terrible habit of forgetting to take off sunglasses in pictures. Anyhow, it was a wonderful party with many attendees and I know Grandma Evie felt very loved on this last birthday. I love how straight her posture is in this photograph; she never needed a cane or walker and stayed physically fit and active throughout her life.

This next photo is from that same day, on the deck of J's parents' former house. This is J, me, Evie's Grandpa R and Grandma L, Grandma Evie, Uncle M and Aunt C:

We used this photo in our adoption profile, by the way. We all look so happy (even J has a half smile!) and all-American here, but it makes me wistful to look at this picture now. Not only because it was one of the last times we saw Grandma Evie, but also because I have completely lost who I was at this moment. This was the summer right before we started TTC and the "me" in the picture has no idea that I have endometriosis that has been held in check by BCPs for years, that I will meet with an RE in a little more than a year, that I won't be pregnant in 2004. Looking at myself here makes me realize how much infertility has shaped me, despite the overtures of forgiveness I've made toward my body in the past few months. But even if I had gotten pregnant in 2004, Grandma Evie would never have met the baby, and the baby wouldn't be Evie. So.

Here is Grandma Evie with J in our wedding album:
A smile from J! Well, it is his wedding day.

Here are just a few of the reasons we all admired, respected and loved Grandma Evie:
  • after the death of her husband, J's grandfather, in 1969, she stayed independent, optimistic and active for the next 35 years.

  • she continued to walk to church and to the grocery store and to play golf, into her 80's

  • she jaunted off to Mexico for the winter, with friends, every year. For many years, into their 70's, they drove from Minnesota to Mexico and back. Into their 80's they still drove around in a VW bug while they were staying in Mexico. While there, they sat outside, drank beer and played cards.

  • she could still beat us all at Scrabble, into her 80's

  • during the spring and summer she listened to Twins games on the radio while she crocheted afghans (one even won a blue ribbon at the county fair). Here is one of her afghans that I'm keeping safe for Evie to have one day:

  • she was a woman of faith; the type of faith demonstrated through her actions. She loved deeply and faithfully, spoke gently and radiated kindness.

When parents name a child after a relative, they often hope that the baby will grow up to possess some of the traits of their namesake. We wish for Evie that she inherits Grandma Evie's energy, sweetness, optimism and a love for dark Mexican beer.


  1. What an amazing tribute to Grandma Evie. I didn't realize your Evie was a namesake. It is so unfortunate that they never got to meet. :(

    Thank you for writing the paragraph on ttc and endo, and how infertility forever shaped who you are. It is so true.

    side note-Evie found her foot! Soooo cute when that happens!

  2. That's absolutely amazing. How wonderful that when Evie grows up, she can know she was named after a woman worth admiring.

  3. Such wonderful memories. I hope they ease the pain of her being gone. I love the afghan - I have a cherished blanket from my grandmother. Like a hug from her everytime I snuggle the boys in it.

    P.S. thanks for the visit today!!

  4. I am sure that Evie will love hearing all about her namesake as she grows up. You are lucky to have such wonderful memories of her.

  5. What a wonderful woman. Thanks for sharing your memories of her.

  6. I loved reading this post. I have had the same thoughts when I look back at photos, such as our wedding pics, when we had no idea infertility would soon be a word we knew too well. Thanks for sharing the pics. Grandma Evie sounds like she was a wonderful and much-loved lady.

  7. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful!

  8. Grandma Evie sounds like a really cool lady. I love that Baby Evie has stories to learn and love of such a neat person with her name. That's really fun for a kid. I was named after both my mother and father (a combination of their first names) and I still enjoy telling people how I got my name. Kev and I plan on naming our children after our beloved and dearly departed as well. It's such a beautiful tradition.

  9. It's wonderful to get to know a little about Evie's namesake. It sounds like you chose well---Grandma Evie seems wonderful. =)


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